News from UN-Habitat – Issue 8 – May 2015
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April was an important month for UN-Habitat and the Urban Agenda.

PrepCom2 was yet another milestone towards Habitat III, and the 25th Session of the Governing Council – GC25 – acknowledged and solidified UN-Habitat’s lead in global urban development.

These back-to-back events, both held in Nairobi, attracted more than 1,500 participants combined from more than 90 countries, all preparing the way for a better urban future.

In this issue:

25th Session of the Governing Council - GC25

Governing Council ends as UN-Habitat’s responsibility to lead New Urban Agenda reconfirmed

The Governing Council of UN-Habitat recently held in late April solidified the agency’s responsibility to lead the New Urban Agenda. The closing followed days of hard consultation and deliberation. The event saw 780 delegates and 85 UN member countries in attendance while more than 100 partner organisations were represented.

In a statement to mark the occasion, UN-Habitat Executive Director Dr. Joan Clos said "that with growing numbers living in cities and towns, the importance of well-planned urbanisation crosses over with many of the over-arching development concerns of our present and future – climate change, poverty alleviation and equitable and sustainable development."

More on the GC25

PrepCom2 wrap-up

Second Habitat III Prepcom Pushes One Step Closer To A New Urban Agenda

The second Preparatory Committee for Habitat III – the United Nations Conference on Housing and Sustainable Urban Development – has closed with major decisions being taken on process and timing.

Delegates at the Committee agreed that the Habitat III conference will take place from 17 to 20 October 2016 in Quito, Ecuador, while the third Preparatory Committee is scheduled three months earlier from 25 to 27 July in Jakarta, Indonesia.

Over 90 official delegations and close to 800 participants attended the important meeting which is the second in a series of three aiming to pin down the detail, aims and objectives of the UN’s sustainable urbanisation conference which takes place every 20 years.

More about PrepCom2

Urban round-up

(1) UN-Habitat ready to support Shelter, WASH and Early Recovery in Nepal:
The United Nations has released the Flash Appeal for Response to the Nepal Earthquake, appealing for USD 415 million for the first three months. For the preparation of the emergency appeal, UN-Habitat collaborated with the Shelter, WASH and Early Recovery clusters. More...

(2) World Habitat Awards 2014/15 winners announced:
Winners of the 2015 World Habitat Awards were presented at the 25th Session of the UN- Habitat Governing Council in Nairobi. This year’s winners were Liter of Light, Philippines and Housing First Project by Y- Foundation, Finland. More...

(3) More than 400 participants converge in Quito to debate sustainable construction:
More than 400 participants recently converged in Quito, Ecuador for the first International Forum on Sustainable Cities and Buildings that addressed various topics around sustainable construction. More...

(4) Myanmar proposes a vision for a climate resilient, low-carbon and resource efficient development:
Participants at a workshop recently held in Naypyitaw agreed upon the initial vision for the “climate resilient, low-carbon, resource efficient development, as contribution to sustainable development of Myanmar”. More...

(5) Kenyan journalists attend Urban Journalism Academy:
A group of Kenyan journalists drawn from various media houses on Thursday benefited from talks delivered at the Urban Journalism Academy. More...

(6) Welcoming a new post-2015 Pacific Urban Agenda:
The fourth Pacific Urban Forum (PUF 4) has concluded with a stronger call to find sustainable solutions to the challenges of urbanization and its impact on towns, cities and urban centres in the Pacific region. More...

(7) Namibian policy makers benefit from a workshop on housing the poor:
Over 30 Namibian government officials, policy makers, members of parliament and councilors last week attended a workshop where they were trained on housing the poor. More...

Urban quote

"The road to sustainable development runs through the neighbourhood of urbanization."

- President of Kenya Uhuru Kenyatta during the GC25 opening ceremony where, in a strong speech, he pledged USD 1 million to Habitat III and UN-Habitat.
Urban Tool: the Urban Data Portal

Urban Data goes open with launch of new portal

UN-Habitat has launched a new web portal featuring a wealth of city data based on its extensive research into some of the most pressing urban trends of recent decades.

Launched during the 25th Governing Council, Urban Data allows users to explore data from a number of cities and regions around the world and compare indicators such as slum prevalence and city prosperity. For the first time, the data is also available for use under an open licence agreement.

More about the Urban Data project

Did you know?

Urbanization generates tremendous benefits through well-known economic principles, often underestimated by urban decision-makers:

• Economies of location
• Economies of efficiency
• Economies of urbanization

More about urban economy


Urbanization For Prosperity. Policy Statement 25th Session of the Governing Council

Find out more about the strategic direction of UN-Habitat's work and how it addresses the global themes and challenges as outlined during the last Governing Council, GC25.

Download the GC25 policy statement

Up next
  • 10-12 June 2015: 5th Annual Caribbean Urban Forum (CUF5), Castries, St. Lucia
  • 14-16 June 2015: Egypt Urban Forum, Cairo, Egypt
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© United Nations Human Settlements Programme (UN-Habitat) 2015

The designations employed and the presentation of material in this publication do not imply the expression of any opinion whatsoever on the part of the secretariat of the United Nations concerning the legal status of any county, territory, city or area or its authorities, or concerning the delimitation of its frontiers or boundaries regarding its economic system or degree of development. Excerpts may be reproduced without authorization, on condition that the source is indicated. Views expressed in this publication do not necessarily reflect those of the United Nations Human Settlements Programme, the United Nations and its member states.
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